Matte foundation can be a tricky territory to navigate.
On one hand, there's the matte finish in itself—the overall goal is the velvety, shine-free effect on the opposite end of the spectrum from luminous. Still, you don't want it to look totally unnatural. The final result, of course, should still look like your own skin. Because so many matte formulas end up slightly cakey on my own skn, I tend to veer more toward lightweight formulas, or skip foundation entirely to just sub it out with concealer and powder. My skin is oily as it is, so I just assume everything will end up getting completely shiny—or "dewy," as the beauty industry tends to rebrand that effect.
For the most part, I embraced that dewy finish. Played it up, even, by piling on the highlighter and making it look deliberate, but the buzz surrounding Too Faced's Peach Perfect Comfort Matte Foundation ($36; sephora.com) was too great to be ignored. I took it on a test-run, and figured it would go one of two ways: cakey and oxidized as the matte foundations before it had ended up, or, the formula that officially converted me.
VIDEO: How To Cover Up Acne Scars
Even when I'm working with a foundation, I tend to apply it like a concealer, concentrating it under the eyes, down the nose, and anywhere else my skin needs a little extra love. I started with this method, but as I buffed out the product with my makeup sponge, I found that just a little bit could cover a lot of territory, and ended up blending it over the areas that would typically remain bare. The end result didn't look heavy at all, even once I set it with powder, though I bounced the damp foundation sponge over my skin just to blend everything out and ensure it melted into my complexion.
Like I said, my skin is oily. Ever since viewing that very first Clean & Clear blotting paper commercial back in the early '00s, I've carried different variations in bulk. Because of that, I'm used to product oxidizing and turning orange on contact with my face, though I have the color-selection process down to a science by this point. Usually, medium foundations and concealers with a cooler undertone will shift more toward my shade, like a chameleon, once my natural oils work their magic—if you can even call it that, anyway. I was worried that the Too Faced foundation was a little warm for me, but surprisingly, the color didn't change at all, and the "dewiness" of my skin balanced out the matte finish to the point that it looked like my own skin, albeit slightly more perfect. It was the ultimate no-makeup look, and felt as lightweight as a tinted moisturizer as I wore it through the day. At certain points, I forgot I was wearing foundation entirely, since I didn't have to blot my face constantly.
Better yet, my entire face smelled like a freshly-picked peach, which wasn't that evident to others, but I caught a few whiffs every so often when I turned my head quickly, or whenever a breeze brushed past. I'm not sure exactly how Too Faced did it, but I'm so glad they did.